FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Off-site airport parking services are a cheap alternative to parking at the Fresno Airport. You can pay half the cost.
But crime reports show that one of these locations experienced nearly three times more break-ins compared to parking at the airport.
So is it worth the risk?
The video above shows damages to vehicles after car break-ins at the Wyndham Garden in Fresno.
They were all shot over a period of just six days.
In less than one week, there were five cars in designated park and ride spots broken into and rummaged through.
When flying out of Fresno, there are several parking options.
You can park at the airport or use off-site parking which is where you pay to park in nearby hotel lots for the duration of your trip.
Reseller sites like way.com, airportsparking.com and cheapestairportparking.com offer parking at lower rates than long-term airport parking.
At the airport, the cheapest parking option is $8 per day, while the Wyndham Garden is as low as $3.50 a day.
For a five-day vacation, your price would go from $40 to $17 instead, which is a competitive price that’s more than half off.
“It doesn’t look too bad now, we cleaned it up pretty good,” John Frizell said while showing us his jeep that was broken into.
The Frizell’s parked their jeep at the Wyndham Garden lot while they flew home to Alaska.
“We just parked it there for a few months while we ran up to grab our motorhome,” Frizell said.
The Frizell’s say they’re in Fresno because Cristin is a travel nurse temporarily in the state to help with the overflow of COVID-19 patients.
“It was nice being able to actually help people and honestly the most rewarding part of my job in all my 18 years was being in the COVID hospital,” Cristin said.
Upon returning to Fresno, the Frizell’s found their jeep broken into.
“My first thought was this is so violating,” she said. “All of my stuff, my scrubs, my shoes were gone, which is ok, it’s replaceable, it just feels like I’ve been violated and my stuff has been taken.”
They are not alone in their experience.
The owner of a red car returned to a broken back window.
They tell us the center console was rummaged through, phone chargers and a garage door opener stolen.
A gray truck had a busted back window then another truck had another busted back window.
The driver of this company truck tells us it was broken into in the overnight hours.
He says a few hundred dollars worth of equipment was stolen.
So far this year, police have recorded more than 90 crime events at this location.
26 of them were burglary, theft and stolen vehicles.
At the Fresno Airport, there were nine reports of burglary and theft and no stolen vehicles.
Online, this off-site airport parking location is advertised by all of these aggregator websites as a safe option to park your car.
These websites all advertise amenities like camera surveillance, 24-hour lot attendant and 24-hour security.
The hotel’s website promises none of that.
We were able to reach way.com, one of the sites selling off-site airport parking spots who sent this statement regarding these break-ins:
“Theway.com team is looking into the matter at the Wyndham Garden Inn. Every parking listing that the way.com team creates includes default settings, which are validated by the parking partner. When certain amenities aren’t applicable, they are removed upon the partner’s request.“
We reached out to Wyndham who said an investigation was immediately underway after learning of the break-ins. The statement they left states:
“Upon learning of this incident, we immediately reached out to investigate with the owner of this location, which is independently owned and operated as a franchise. At this time, it’s our understanding from hotel ownership that they continue to fully cooperate with local authorities on this city-wide issue and are taking steps to further address the concerns raised, including adding new on-site security services and additional exterior cameras, among other measures.“
In any case, whether you purchase off-site airport parking from one of these websites or directly from the Wyndham Garden in Fresno, you park at your own risk. You are responsible when it comes to damages.
It’s a lesson the Frizell’s want to share so others don’t have to learn the hard way.
“For us, it’s a done deal, it is what it is, but I don’t want this to happen to somebody else,” Frizell said. “So if we can prevent this from happening to someone, then absolutely, all for it.”
An earlier version of this report incorrectly used “Park N Fly” to identify the off-site airport parking services reported on; this was a mistake and we regret the error.